Information for Museums

Scottish Finds Allocation Panel Caselist

*Please note that the 8th April 2020 meeting has been postponed. Follow the Treasure Trove Unit Twitter and Facebook for updates*

Allocation Panel Meeting: Wednesday 08 April 2020

Please find below a link to the 08 April 2020 SAFAP allocation meeting case list and details of how to apply for Treasure Trove cases. Deadline for museum applications is Friday 13th March 2020.

April 2020 Cases

Distribution of information:

The majority of museums will receive regional notification emails. Museums Galleries Scotland also distributes the caselist to ensure full coverage of accredited museums. Please also see our website and Twitter page for notifications.


Standing Profile Form:

Standing Profile Form for Museums

Standard Application Form:

Standard Application Form for Museums

Simplified Application Form:

Simplified Application Form for Museums

Application to Borrow and Display Unallocated Treasure Trove:

Application Form for Authority to Borrow and Display Unallocated Treasure Trove


Any museum that is accredited (either provisionally or fully) under the UK wide Accreditation Scheme administered in Scotland by Museums Galleries Scotland is eligible to apply to be allocated items of Treasure Trove.

Allocation of TT cases is done on the advice of the Scottish Finds Allocation Panel (SAFAP) which meets three times a year. New cases are advertised on both the Treasure Trove website and in Connect, the MGS e-bulletin. Interested museums can contact the Treasure Trove Unit for details of these cases and should regularly check the Treasure Trove website. In addition museums who regularly apply and are allocated TT material are contacted directly with details of new cases.

If your museum has recently been accredited or if you are an accredited museum interested in receiving notifications of new cases from your collecting area please contact the Treasure Trove Unit and we can add your details to our contact list.

How to apply for Treasure Trove material

Applications for Treasure Trove material must be submitted on the standard application form by the advertised deadline date for a particular meeting.

SAFAP considers all applications on an equal basis according to the  guidelines which can be found in Section 12 of the Treasure Trove Code of Practice.

Should more than one institution apply to be allocated the same Treasure Trove case SAFAP will apply the criteria in Appendix L of the Code of practice and institutions will be invited to submit supplementary information to help inform the decision of the panel.

There is a presumption that material will be allocated locally unless a convincing argument for allocating it elsewhere is presented.

The Treasure Trove system deals with the allocation of two types of material-

Chance finds

These are chance discoveries made by members of the public and not through planned archaeological fieldwork. In these cases the finder is normally eligible for an ex gratia payment informed by the market value of the object. The cost of the ex gratia payment is met by the museum to which the material is allocated. Please see below for details on funding bodies which can help meet the cost of Treasure Trove cases.

Archaeological Assemblages

The Treasure Trove system also deals with the allocation of archaeological assemblages and other fieldwork. As assemblages are the result of organised fieldwork the excavator is not eligible for an ex gratia payment and museums are liable for no costs beyond the storage of the material. Excavated material is retained by the excavator until allocation is complete and the delivery of the assemblage should be arranged between the excavator and the museum.

Human Remains in Archaeological Assemblages

The processing of excavation assemblages by the Treasure Trove system has always meant that human remains and other skeletal material has been processed through the system as part of larger assemblages, even though the Crown has no ownership rights over human remains. We recognise that some museums may wish to acquire the artefactual component of an excavation assemblage but may not wish to acquire or accession human remains and we will accept applications from museums who do not wish to acquire human remains in any assemblage. However should there be competing applications for the same assemblage SAFAP will be minded to favour that institution which will also accept any human remains. In cases where there is only one bid and that bid excludes the human remains, then the Panel may turn where appropriate to museums willing to act in a regional capacity to see whether there is interest in order to keep both skeletal material and objects together.

Help for museums on funding of ex gratia payments

The National Museums Scotland manages the National Funds for Acquisitions on behalf of the Scottish Government; all accredited Museums are eligible to apply to the NFA which can meet 50% of the total acquisition costs-

While Museums Galleries Scotland has an up to date guide on other sources of funding-

Loans of unallocated Treasure Trove material for display

It is possible to borrow material which has not yet been formally claimed or allocated as Treasure Trove to include in temporary exhibitions. Museums wishing to borrow unallocated Treasure Trove material for display can complete a museums loan form and return it to the TTU.